What the new tax year means for you – from bill increases to pay rises | Personal Finance | Finance

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Over at MoneyMagpie this time of year is huge. The new year on April 6 usually brings with it a few changes here and there, but this year will see a bulk of financial changes following the most recent budget.

Here’s what you need to know.

More than one Cash ISA

For the first time ever, you’ll be allowed to pay into more than one Cash each year.

The limit across all ISAs you hold remains £20,000, but this is particularly useful if you like to keep different savings pots separate yet still tax-free – and you can now even move part of a previous Cash ISA to a new one instead of the whole amount.

You also no longer have to ‘renew’ any current Cash ISAs you already hold. The final change to Cash ISAs is that they can now only be opened by those aged 18 and above, to bring them in line with other ISA types.

If you’re more adventurous with your tax-free savings, changes within Innovative Finance ISAs mean more investment types are available to you from the start of the new tax year. Changes to property fund types and long-term assets being included will allow for more investment opportunities.

Childcare support

Two significant changes will come into force that will be of interest to parents. The first is the extension of free childcare hours from three-year-olds to two-year-olds – up to 15 hours a week in termtime.

Child Benefit may now be claimed by more parents, too, as the threshold for household income has risen to £80,000 (and in some instances, more), so be sure to take a look at whether you’re now eligible to claim.

Capital gains costs

If you’re planning on selling a second property this year, be aware of Capital Gains changes.

The first isn’t good news – the allowance is slashed from £6,000 to just £3,000. The second change is better news for higher rate earners, though: second property Capital Gains tax is reduced to 24 percent from April, down from 28 percent.

Dividends allowance now £500

If you get dividends as a company director or shareholder, be aware that in the new tax year you’ll only be able to receive £500 tax-free.

Anything above that will need to be declared on your annual self-assessment return, although the rate of dividend tax is not changing.

Rising bills – but lower energy costs

In a strange win-lose situation, the Energy Price Cap will drop in April to £1,690 (down 12 percent) but most other household bills will rise.

From increased costs for streamers and TV licencing to the annual RPI increase on mobile phone and broadband contracts, to up to 4.99 percent increase on Council Tax bills, household outgoings will go up as we go into spring.

State pension increase

The good news for those in receipt of the state pension is that they’ll receive a boost in their weekly payment.

Anyone entitled to the full amount of new state pension (which is someone who claimed after April 2016) will get a five percent increase to £221.20. Those in receipt of the old state pension will be boosted from £156.20 a week to £169.50.

A big change in pension news is the scrapping of the Lifetime Allowance. You used to be allowed a maximum of £1,073,100 into your pension, but now you can pay in as much as you want.

You can only ever draw out a maximum of £268,275 tax-free under the new Lump Sum allowance, with income tax paid on the rest. The Lump Sum and Death Benefit Allowance means a maximum of £1,073,100 can be passed to your beneficiaries when you die.

More Take-Home Pay

The National Minimum Wage increases this April, meaning an extra £1,856 a year for someone over the age of 21 working 35 hours a week.

Coupled with this, impacting more people than the NMW rise is the next cut to National Insurance contributions. Already slashed in January to 10 percent, from April they will now be eight percent – meaning someone with an annual salary of £35,000 will have almost an extra £450 take-home pay this year.

For the self-employed, Class 2 National Insurance contributions will be completely removed, and Class 4 contributions will be cut to six percent (down from eight percent), so both PAYE and self-employed workers benefit from a two percent National Insurance cut.

Saving money in the cost-of-living crisis

With this mixed bag of good and bad news for the new tax year, it’s easy to worry about how you might cope with the ongoing cost of living crisis. Don’t panic.

There are lots of ways you can be a savvy saver or earn extra money to top up your income, it’s all about being creative and finding brilliant deals.

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